South Western Railway announces timetable changes

SOUTH Western Railway (SWR) has this week announced the latest changes to its timetable as the country continues to emerge from lockdown.

From Monday, September 7, the company will be reintroducing some direct services, increasing frequencies on some routes and increasing capacity during peak times to help social distancing.

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In the morning peak, additional services will also be introduced on some routes, with trains also running with extra carriages to increase capacity.

On weekends, services will return to a near-normal timetable, but some late notice alterations may apply, and engineering works may affect journeys.

These changes will increase capacity by approximately 20 per cent, helping SWR’s customers maintain social distancing when travelling.

Customers can now plan their journey online here.

In addition to these changes to the timetable, SWR is also working to ensure customers can travel with confidence and are continuing to ensure high standards of hygiene at stations and on trains with enhanced cleaning, focussing on commonly touched surfaces.

Hand sanitiser is also available at more than 100 SWR stations so customers can help prevent the spread of the virus before and after they travel.

SWR is also encouraging all customers to follow the latest government guidance on social distancing and reminding passengers that they must wear a face covering on stations and trains.

The company is also working closely with schools, in advance of their return in September, with additional staffing at busy stations to help ensure pupils follow guidance and travel safe.

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Mike Houghton, chief operating officer at SWR, said: “We’ve been working hard to keep our region moving throughout coronavirus, and we continue to do so.

“This timetable change will increase capacity and help maintain social distancing as schools reopen and more people return to work.

“So everyone can travel safe, we need our customers to help.

“Whether you’re returning to work, sending the kids to school, or having a day out with the family, make sure you follow the latest travel guidance.”

Reading Chronicle